I'm not sure when it was announced that Harmon Killebrew had succumbed to esophageal cancer. I don't remember if I had heard before I wrote yesterday's post or not. It was not a shock. Killebrew had just announced last week that the doctors didn't think they could beat this cancer, so he was moving to hospice care to finish his days in the company of his wife.
Killebrew was a legend, that's for sure. The problem is, he was well before my time, and I'm not entirely sure I had ever seen any footage of the man until yesterday. I had heard his name time and time again, obviously. But how did I manage to miss a man so great? It sounds like because he was a pretty low-key guy his entire life, homers or not. But it seems networks would run old footage of him they way they do Mays or Mantle or somebody. Such is life, I suppose. Not everybody can be an icon.
Still, footage or no, there was plenty of tributes to Killebrew since his passing. One of the best, for my money, anyway, is the Twins deciding to wear jerseys from 1961 for the rest of their home dates in honor of Killebrew. This means the Twins are effectively mothballing a second-year jersey to honor a fallen giant. That's pretty cool stuff. It's just a shame the Twins turned awful this year, though maybe this will the spark to inspire them. That would certainly be the Hollywood ending.
In any case, after thinking about Killebrew and being totally unqualified to add anything more, I'm going to stop writing today and encourage you, if you haven't already, to go out and read all the nice pieces on Sports Illustrated and the like about Killebrew and all the stories that I have somehow missed until now.